Twelve African Nations to Chart New Course for the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa

GABORONE, BOTSWANA: Ministers from 12 countries who are signatories to the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA) will convene in Maun, Botswana from October 11th to the 13th to attend the Fifth Anniversary Celebration and the Forum of Minister's Conference on the Gaborone Declation for Sustainability in Africa at Cresta Maun. The Ministers Forum will be opened officially by His Excellency the President of the Rebublic of Botswana Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama who is expected to address GDSA Member States and encourage their renewed commitment to incorporate value of nature in economic and social development decisions. 

The Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa culminated from the 2012 Summit for Sustainability in Africa, held in Gaborone. At this summit 10 countries reaffirmed their commitment to implement all conventions and declarations that promote Sustainable Development. Those 10 signatories are: Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania. 

The GDSA Ministers Forum - a transformative platform for achieving sustainable development – will be meeting to draw up a new five-year strategy to reinforce sustainability and natural capital as the centre piece of economic planning and development across member states. The ministers will also review the progress made since the Gaborone Declaration was signed and also assess governance protocols and guidelines for new members to join the GDSA. Additionally, the meeting will serve to formally welcome Madagascar and Uganda as two new signatories to the GDSA. 

The gathering also marks 5 years after the establishment of the GDSA, and is inspired by the recognition of the opportunities, risks and rewards that come with increased investment and commitment to sustainable management of Africa's rich natural capital. 

Ruud Jansen, Executive Secretary of the GDSA said, "The GDSA is as valid today as it was in 2012. The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement have given the Declaration added value and urgency. We look forward to welcoming the member countries to Botswana to deliberate on how to take this action platform into the future." 

Michael O'Brien-Onyeka, Senior Vice President, Africa Field Division at Conservation International said "Conservation International is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Government of Botswana and the GDSA member countries in organizing the Secretariat and in helping the countries progress towards the visionary goals of the GDSA, especially in such areas as ecosystem mapping, payment for ecosystem services, REDD+ activities and conservation agreements."

Photo by Benjamin Drummond.

Photo by Benjamin Drummond.

About the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA)

Initiated as a regional action platform in May 2012 by 10 African countries (Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and South Africa), the GDSA approaches sustainability through incorporating the value of natural capital in public and private policy decision-making, generating data, sharing best practices, and building capacity to support policy networks as well as pursuing inclusive sustainable production in such areas as agriculture, fisheries, and extractive industries. 

Botswana is the designated Secretariat for the GDSA, with the President of Botswana - Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama as Chair. In December 2014, the Government of Botswana delegated the functions of the Secretariat to Conservation International (CI) until December 2018. 

A number of regional and global platforms have endorsed the GDSA. These includes the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA), and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. 
                                         
Important Links and Contacts:

  • Press inquiries, please contact:
    • For the Government of Botswana: MENT_PR@GOV.BW
    • For the GDSA Secretariat: Ruud Jansen (GDSA Executive Secretary), rjansen@conservation.org, +267 71 632 563
    • For Conservation International: Jenny Parker McCloskey (VP Media), jparker@conservation.org, +1-917-763-3263
  • Journalists Requesting Credentials: All press must be approved by the Government of Botswana to attend the meeting. To apply for press access, please contact MENT-PR@gov.bw